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An interview with a neighbor: Shayla R. West

Shayla West loves Emory/Druid Hills' diversity but hates the gridlock



A former flight attendant, Shayla R. West, 31, moved to Atlanta nearly two years ago and currently works as a program director in Emory University's journalism department. While the neighborhood offers some of the familiar small-town qualities of her hometown of Manning, S.C., she enjoys only having to venture a short way for a night in the big city.

I love the eclectic but traditional feel of the neighborhood. I feel as though this may be one of Atlanta's hidden treasures. I'm originally from a small town in South Carolina. I was so familiar with the country living life, but never really wanted to live in the heart of downtown. Staying in this area is the best of both worlds for me. I also like the diversity of the neighborhood — you see and meet so many people of different ethnicities from so many different walks of life.

I would like to see more options of public transportation in the area. Emory is a very large organization. You have the university side as well as the health care side. You have students, employees, as well as patients all jam-packed into one location, so you can imagine how congested the area can become at times.

I'm [also] not a big fan of this new roundabout right in front of the main entrance of campus. I used to be a flight attendant for three and a half years, so I'm very familiar with the roundabouts — they are very popular overseas. But for people who do not come to this area a lot or have never seen a roundabout before, it's somewhat confusing when driving and it makes it even more difficult to give directions to individuals who have never been on campus. You say "roundabout" to someone and their response is, "What?"

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